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Best of 2012 News/Business. (2012)

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Us 7, Usaa 6, Eisenhower 5, Caroline Kennedy 4, Mika 4, United States 4, Ben Affleck 4, Libya 4, America 3, Birmingham 3, Augusten Burroughs 3, Iraq 3, Cgi 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2, Caroline 2, Cialis 2, Julianne Moore 2, Kennedy 2, Colin Powell 2, Tony Mendez 2,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    Best of 2012   
   News/Business.  (2012)  

    December 26, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00am PST  

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above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. [ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. hey, welcome back to "morning joe." we hope you're having a great
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holiday season. you know, this morning is our "mo' joe rewind." we bring you the best guests, the most compelling discussions, the most insightful interviews. and we've already seen a lot of great ones already. >> and we start this hour with the man who perhaps loves politics the most, former president bill clinton. >> there's not a close second, is there? >> yeah, there might be. >> that campaign -- >> yep. just a few weeks after holding court at the democratic national convention, the former president kicked off his annual clinton global initiative conference in new york city. >> mika and i sat down with the president at the site of the cgi meeting on the same day that both president obama and mitt romney were set to speak there. >> how would you characterize how he's been handling the collective problems that we're seeing percolating across the middle east? >> well, i think that first of all, i think they've done pretty well in a very chaotic situation. the arab spring was always going
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to have ups and downs or bumps in the road or whatever you want to call it. in libya, the tragic situation of the lost of our ambassador and the other americans, it's worth pointing out a couple of things. first of all, most of the libyan people who were aware of what's going on like the united states, they like the fact that we aggressively supported them and their desire to replace the gadhafi regime and decades of control and repression and a move to a more democratic system. the president of libya has asked to meet with me. we're going to have a nice visit. i think tomorrow. there were libyans who lost their lives in that attack, trying to protect americans. and that is a different thing. i don't think -- that has, in my opinion, no relationship to what happened in iran which was all caught up with where the shah
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was going, what the reaction would be, whether we had adequate security. what happened in libya, the ambassador wanted to get out, he wanted to not be holed up in the embassy in tripoli. he realized there was some risk because this happened in iraq, too, but in a different way. when you get rid of an old regime, you know, one of the things they try to maintain control of was their security services, for obvious reasons. every dictatorship does, right? so they took down the old security service, and they hadn't really built -- had time to build up their own. and there was a lot of weapons floating loose in the country. but i think the american people, for all the tragedy here, could take a lot of comfort in the fact that libyan citizens stormed the offices of some of these militia groups to get the weapons out. they are trying to fix it. >> i mean, they forced a couple of them to shut down. >> yeah. >> they had peaceful sit-ins. >> absolutely.
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>> it was remarkable progress. >> i think the story coming out of libya has a lot of -- you know, we don't know how it's going to come out, but the american people should be encouraged by that. the citizens rose up after the murder of the ambassador and said, you know, we don't want you to wreck our future. we want these weapons back. >> you mentioned iran. the president is also getting some criticism for not meeting with netanyahu at this point. at this stage of the game, would you be if you were president? >> i don't know what the facts are. in other words, it depends on whether there's something they haven't discussed that needs to be discussed and personally. but if there isn't, i think it's understandable that every president and every israeli prime minister normally wants to keep their options open. and it looks to me like -- didn't they say they talked for an hour on the phone just in the last couple of weeks? i mean, i don't think there's a
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difference in what's symbolic and real. my impression is -- and i have not talked to hillary about this because i never want to know anything that i shouldn't be talking about on television -- but it just looks to me like, reading things, that they've been talking about this a lot and that both the united states and the israeli security operations are fully conversant with whatever the facts are on iran and whatever they intend to do for the next several weeks. and it looked to me like, just, again, from observing it, that the president was reluctant to have one meeting in a u.n. schedule where normally he'll have 15 because of the nearness of the campaign. >> did you ever -- what did you do in '96? you obviously met with leaders. >> i did. >> it seemed surprising that he's not meeting with any world leaders. >> i spent the regular day here. but the campaign was in a different position in '96. i mean, we did surveys that said
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it wasn't that close, and we were trying to get some specific things done in various countries that i thought it was worth spending. >> you don't think it's a mistake for the president to not take meetings? >> i think -- i think -- it's not necessarily a mistake if you're going to have a no-meeting policy just to go and leave. i think that it may have cost the united states more not to. and we know, for example, that they've been up to their ears in conversations with the egyptians over the aftermath of that. we know the president had a long talk with president morsi, the upsurge of the demonstrations in cairo over the film trailer. and we know it produced some results, that he took a much firmer stand after that conversation. and he's coming here today, the president of egypt. it will be interesting to hear what he says. >> it's amazing.
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>> cgi. >> i was going to say, cgi is like the al smith dinner. you've got both candidates coming here. >> how did you get that? >> you've got mitt romney coming this morning, and right after that, the president. >> i invited him. i called him and invited him. we did it four years ago, remember. senator mccain came and brought governor palin with him. >> right. >> if you look -- whatever you think about his tax return, he's given substantial money to charity, he might want to talk about that today. i don't know what he's going to talk about. >> i heard what the secretary said yesterday about elites not paying taxes. are you comfortable with a lot of the talk that's been going on in the democratic primary and even at the democratic national convention that seemed to border on class warfare? when you yourself said, if america wants to be more competitive in the 21st century, we're going to have to lower corporate tax rates, if america's going to be more
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competitive in the 21st century, we'll have to look at how we make this country more competitive -- >> i think we should lower corporate tax rates, but i think it's worth pointing out that of the 33 countries and the oecd, the group of wealthier nations, only chile and mexico take a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than we do. it's worth pointing out that if you have a lot of money and you earn only capital gains, you pay 15%, which is radically lower than the rates that any other advanced society -- >> should capital gains rates go up so there's not such a discrepancy between what warren buffett and his secretary makes? >> how that works out. >> should personal tax rates go up? >> the simpson-bowles commission recommended that we bring down personal tax rates but eliminate the difference between personal rates and capital gains.
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and i think it's good to have a little difference. to encourage people to invest. but i do think the corporate tax rates, that's different because you -- when i raise corporate taxes to balance the budget, i raised it to a rate that was exactly in the middle of the global average. i was trying to make us competitive and bring the debt down. now the global average has dropped to about 25% or 26%. we've got to be around there somewhere to be competitive. and it's easier to do what both candidates have urged, which is to lower the rates and broaden the tax base. it's the much easier to do in the corporate sphere than the individual sphere. >> there are some that feel this president doesn't reach across the rooil, doesn't invite the other side for coffee, drinks, golfing, whatever to make that connection to work on and ultimately making a deal. the same narrative applies to his relationships arnold the world, according to some.
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and they say that the president could learn a thing or two from you. is that fair? >> i doubt it. my guess is -- i think he does talk to world leaders quite a lot. and as i said, i think -- i could see the impact of the conversation he had with president morsi. so i think that that kind of conversation's going on. he played golf with speaker boehner, and i think that -- i'll make you a prediction. i think -- i'll tell you what i think's really going on. and how i think you should see this tax issue. i think the president concluded that if he just gave up for one more year on the bush tax cuts and didn't let them expire for
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upper had of inco upper-income people, that he wouldn't get a budget deal and that tactically what would happen is after the election, we're facing this budget cliff, we'll have a very interesting post-election lame-duck session of congress. they will avoid the fiscal cliff, and they'll do it in a way that will produce a budget agreement either in this lame-duck session or in the first couple of months of next year. that's what i think will happen. >> there's the part of the conversation every year that drives mika crazy when i talk about how we all, in the 1990s, worked together despite some pretty tough differences. >> we didn't in 1995. we had a pretty rough '95. >> '95 was an ugly year. there were a couple of other ugly years. >> but the other ugly years we already had a modus operandi of working together. if you look at what was accomplished in '98, '99 and 2000, they were good years.
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the only desert year was 1999. >> i faulk specifically about 1999 because people will poke at me when i talk about how you and the republican congress worked together. i say no, you should look at 1999 because even in the worst of times, the president's people were talking to leaders of congress. >> every day. >> and somehow even in the worst of times, even in a constitutional crisis, government worked. people put the country ahead of their own party in the day-to-day workings of the capitol. >> but i think that should give you hope, if the president wins the election, and i believe he will, that something like that will happen next time. let's go back and look at what really happened in the '90s. so we had this -- you know, '94 was contentious, but things got done. and then the republicans won the congress. '95, hardly anything got done. we did get the budgets out on time. >> right. >> i mean, that's the only year
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we didn't get the budgets out on time. and so there were two government shutdowns. then public opinion shifted strongly against that. the leaders of your caucus and congress decided i'd probably win in '96, and we started working together because the shutdowns were an action-forcing event. this time, after the election, there will be less gridlock. if governor romney were to win, he'd just implement the agenda that he campaigned on. >> right. >> and if the president wins re-election, which is what i think will happen, it no longer makes sense to have your number one goal, defeating him for re-election, because he can't run for anything. and i believe -- and he will no longer have, as his number one goal, drawing distinctions between himself and his party that says they want to beat him. they both will have a dramatically greater incentive
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to get stuff done. >> will the parties allow that to happen? because you look at what happened in the '90s. and i'll be the first to admit it, that i didn't see some things coming. i would say democrats didn't as well in '93 and '94, i campaigned on the tax increase, and i got elected because of the tax increase. i thought it was going to wreck the economy. it didn't wreck the economy. in '95 and '96, a lot of tough decisions by republicans, a lot of cuts that weren't popular with democrats as well as welfare reform. we heard all the horror stories. but you look at the tough decisions you guys made in '93 and '94, the tough decisions that we made sometimes that you agreed with and sometimes you didn't. taken together, those were three or four pretty dramatic years of political leaders stepping up and doing unpopular things. >> but that's what -- >> can we do that in 2013? >> -- works. >> i know. is washington still capable of that? >> i predict that it will happen. i think you will have, just like we did then, you'll have people
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out here and out here that won't agree with that. but i think you'll have an operating majority to do something. i believe that will happen. still ahead, we're joined by actor and director ben affleck and the emmy-winning star of "veep," julia louis-dreyfus. first, caroline kennedy with her new book on her father's presidency. we'll hear audio from jfk himself inside the oval office. irping ]hon
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welcome back to "morning joe." you know, on the 50th anniversary of the cuban missile crisis, caroline kennedy joined us with never-before-released audio recordings from inside her father's white house. >> caroline contributed to the book "listening in: the secret white house recordings of john f. kennedy," which includes more than two hours of taped conversations from jfk's oval office and cabinet room, including this phone call between president kennedy and general dwight d. eisenhower,
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discussing the cuban missile crisis. >> general, what about if the soviet union -- khrushchev -- announced tomorrow, which i think he will, that if we attack cuba, that it's going to be nuclear war? and what's your judgment as to the chances they'll fire these things off if we invade cuba? >> oh, i don't believe that they will. >> you don't think they will? in other words, you would take that risk if the situation seemed desirable? >> well, as a matter of fact, what can you do? if this thing is such a serious thing here on our flank, that we're going to be uneasy and we know what thing is happening now, all right, you've got to use something. >> yeah. >> something may make these people shoot them off. i just don't believe this will. >> yeah, right. >> in any event, of course, i'll say this. i'd want to keep my own people very alert. >> yeah, well, hang on tight. >> yes, sir. >> thanks a lot, general. >> all right. thank you. >> those are incredible.
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caroline kennedy joins us now. >> okay, let's forget the red sox and the curse you put on the red sox this year by throwing out the first pitch. can i just say, you know, i've been reading about your dad my whole life. reading about this new appreciation for eisenhower. i've been reading about eisenhower. that's just heavy stuff. talk about it. talk about this project. it's unbelievable. >> well, this project has been great because my kids love it. you know, older people love it. i think it really brings you -- you know, we all want to know what's going on in the oval office, and you wish you could hear the conversations. and this is probably as close as we'll get. and i think you really hear, you know, what's real and what's not. and president eisenhower, obviously, you know, his military opinion was pretty valuable. for me, it was amazing how much they were thinking about berlin, how scary this was, how incredibly intense the whole situation was, which was 50 years ago this week. >> it's also fascinating that
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your dad, like all incoming presidents, look -- they look at the last president kind of, come on. old guy, get out of my way. and then you hear the cuban missle crisis really brought them together where your dad was thinking, okay. it's like the president's club. you read it. you suddenly realize once you're there, there are only a few people that know what you're going through. and your dad picked that up. >> especially eisenhower who obviously knew all these people and how they thought. it's also just so interesting to read it during a campaign because you don't know what's going to come up in the next administration. >> no. >> and how they're going to deal with what they're going to face. you know, you get a sense of how people approach problems. >> i like eisenhower's response. listen, are they going to shoot nuclear missiles at us? i don't think so. i don't think so. >> but all the military generals were advocating nuclear war. >> right. >> it's interesting that eisenhower, obviously the great military leader, was a lot less
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enthusiastic. >> so let's go to september, i believe, of 1963. here's a recording of martin luther king jr. in president kennedy's office after the march on washington and a deadly bombing in birmingham in that birmingham church that killed four young girls. take a listen. >> now, the real problem that we face is this. the negro community is about to reach a breaking point. there is a great deal of frustration and despair and confusion in the negro community, and there is a feeling of being alone and not being protected. if you walk the street, you are not safe. if you stay at home, you are not safe. there is a danger of a bomb. if you're in church now, it isn't safe. so that the negro feels that everywhere he goes, if he remains stationary, he's in danger of some physical violence.
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>> wow! on so many levels. i want to hear more about what happened in that conversation. >> right. well, there are incredible civil rights conversations in this book that kind of take you through the most dramatic moments from the desegregation of ole miss and then birmingham and then kind of working with, figuring out the relationship with the leaders of the movement. and it's unbelieve -- you look back and you think some of this progress was inevitable, and this really shows you how incredibly difficult and tense it was. >> this is a breathtaking historical document. >> it really is. >> this is no one's interpretation of what happened 50 years ago. it's history as it happened. how did you get access to the tapes, first of all, and how do you whittle down a presidency to a few hours? >> well, the tapes have been opened over the years, with the last ones -- there's a few in this book that haven't been released before. but they've been available, but they're just -- they're raw data just like any research archive. and so we wanted to make them
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accessible in a way that people could digest it, that they could hear it. so we picked when we wanted to place it in context because it's the 50th anniversary, and it seemed like that would be a good way of celebrating that. and so ted widmer did a great job of picking out highlights that were not just interesting but also were significant and representative of the larger crises that were happening. so it's a combination of really good editing and the archivists now this stuff. and the archivists that work in the national archives across our system are incredible. >> as you listen to this, caroline, anything you heard changed the way you looked at your own father? >> well, i feel lucky that there are so many records of him, so that, you know, it's a way of connecting. and also just seeing him at work is so interesting because kids always want to know what their parents do at work. and your kids get to watch you on tv. >> they don't. >> but it's really different. >> they never watch.
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>> it's so interesting. it obviously made me really proud. so that was nice. >> so just because people are going to -- their appetite is going to be whet by this, this is the book that's available. obviously the transcripts are here, if people want to hear more of the audio, how? >> they can go online at www.jfklibrary.org website and they can search all 265 hours of tapes. so this is a huge archive that is available and accessible. this is a more easily digestible form. so hopefully people will use this and then want to learn more. >> we have another recording. we'll listen to one more, made with journalist james cannon just days after john kennedy announced his run for office and the differences between him and his grandfather. take a listen. >> well, i mean, the political type. i think it's hard work. my grandfather was a natural political type. love to go out to a dinner. love to get up and sing with the crowds. loved to go down and take the train up and talk to 18 people on the train.
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>> what makes you think you aren't, in a different context? >> i just happen to fit the times. my grandfather, his political career was limited partly because he was part of the immigrant group, who would not achieve success, but partly because he did do these things and therefore he never concentrated enough to get what he really wanted, which was either governor or senator. now it requires far more work, politics is far more serious business. >> your father was a little more removed emotionally than your grandfather, is it safe to say? >> yeah, i think so. >> or his view of himself. >> i'd rather read a book on the plane than talk to the person next to me. but i think it's really interesting because he talks about the 19th century and the senate versus the 20th. and now we're in the 21st. and so, you know, who's right for the times, and what kind of person is going to fit history and shape history?
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>> yeah. >> that's sort of -- he had a sense that he was right for his time. it's interesting because he wasn't elected president, but he still kind of had that sense. >> caroline kennedy, thank you. coming up, our conversation with actor and director ben affleck on his gripping film about a rescue operation during the 1979 iranian hostage crisis. >> that was a great movie, wasn't it? >> it was an amazing movie. >> fantastic. >> few people have heard this story, though. >> yeah, the opening sequence was just so riveting and just pulled you through the entire movie. this is, like you said, a part of the story that nobody's ever heard. >> it's incredible. stay with us. we'll be right back. mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote.
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like a folk song, you know. like a woody guthrie folk song. ♪ people try to put us down ♪ talking about my generation chris stampu, one of our managers, came to see us and said this could be great, beef it up. i said it's a little folk ditty. no, beef it up. so then i beefed it up again. and i realized that actually this -- the music was reflecting a generational change in society, that there was a whole group of people from 1959 onwards who felt disenfranchised, and the music was about -- that song was about that, really. and when i sing "i hope i die
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before i get old," it doesn't mean i don't want to be an old man, it meant i don't want to live the way you live, the way you old people live, i don't want to live pursuing valediction and military might and colonialism and imperialism because the cost is too high. >> that was rock legend pete townshend on the show this year talking about his new memoir. now, still to come, julianne moore on playing sarah palin in the emmy award-winning movie "game change." also, secretary of state colin powell on the moment he'll never forget at the united nations. testifying about iraq and weapons of mass destruction. [ male announcer ] feeling like a shadow of your former self?
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you think, bradley, mika may actually see this? >> i'm not even going to hold my breath, joe. >> i'm going to see it. my husband and i are going to watch it.
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>> she's probably going to call it "silver bells." >> why wouldn't you? because "hit and run" is your favorite movie, right? >> on the a-list. >> for people that don't know, mika usually walks out on movies. >> that's why when i like it, he'll know. >> that's true. >> exactly. don't you hate suck-ups? >> yes. >> i hate suck-ups. >> i wouldn't mind a little bit. >> a little bit. >> i don't know if "hate's" the right word. >> that was bradley cooper in his new movie, "silver lining." you call "the a-list" "the a-team." you are going to see "silver lining." not "silver bells." moving on, ben affleck has come a long way since "good will hunting." now he's reaching new heights of
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acclaim with his latest film, " "argo." >> you saw that one in. >> i saw it. it was gripping. >> from the opening scene, it pulled you in. >> it's the all-too-outlandishly plot to rescue americans during the height of the iran hostage crisis. and affleck's rendering of the recently declassified story already has the actor/director earning serious oscar buzz. i thought the movie was amazing. i don't really watch movies, and when i do, i walk out of them. this was good. >> thank you. >> this was really good. >> thank you very much. >> this was like my muscles were clenched from beginning to end. and i still have images of the movie, and those moments especially when the embassy itself was being seized. it was just riveting. >> it really took you back. >> you know, it is absolutely going to be nominated and ought to win best picture of the year. the most amazing thing -- willie and i were talking about it earlier, the story itself. bill goldman used to say if it's not on the page, it's not on the
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stage. this story, how did it escape us? >> how did you find it? >> i love you guys. i want to be on the show permanently. thank you very much. it got declassified in '97. i'm not sure what the process of declassification is. i have a feeling it's moving one box from one to another. an enterprising journalist named josh bierman put together this set and wrote an article in a magazine. george clooney's company bought it and it got to me. and as soon as i read it, as you say, it was like this thriller. it's really funny. it has this intricate cia kind of mystery. and it was all true. and if i can even execute in a basic way on this, this would be the best thing that i've ever done, by far. >> it is an amazing story. >> more broadly, even, why isn't it part of american lore? this is the kind of story that's screaming to be told in history books and to have been made into
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a movie years ago. >> that's a hard question to answer. by the time 1997 rolled around, the hostage crisis wasn't what it was. and the hostage crisis was, you know, terribly disappointing and upsetting and a real national downer. that's one of the reasons why i love this story because, you know, in america, we don't always get things right. we don't always have good news on. but this is one of the times where we got it right. our people did it right. i think it's amazing. i just think it took a while for this to resurface because have in their consciousness all kinds of things that are happening in the present day. >> how hard was this for mendez to sell to the bureaucracy that i'm going to l.a. we're going to pretend we're making a film. they had to be rolling their eyes. >> he had, interestingly enough, he had been working historically with this guy john chambers who won the first oscar for "makeup" and "planet of the apes." this guy looked just like john goodman. he had been working with
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hollywood use them to build disguises to get them out of southeast asia and stuff like that. when he came up with this idea and took it back to them, it was the best kind of bad idea they had. and it was so outrageous, they figured, like, you have to be an idiot to be making this up, you know. >> so i knew some of the people that were in the movie as a child. i can't imagine them being sold that story or that plan or that -- i just can't imagine it. but you know what? the movie, you get it. you get why that was the only bad option. >> yeah. at the end of the movie, i didn't want the movie to be politicized. i have republican friends and democratic friends. and i want them to both be able to see it and enjoy it in equal measure. i certainly didn't want to be politicized internationally either, but i did use a recording of president carter at the end of the movie, saying -- who's not president -- the rest of the movie saying yeah, we did this thing, you know, they went undercover being a movie crew, it was very dangerous, but we did it, and it was successful. not because i want there to be a
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referendum on the carter presidency, but i thought this actually validates it. you watch this whole crazy thing and think, could this really be true? here's a guy who was president of the united states when it happened who says yeah, we did this. >> tell us about becoming tony mendez. >> tony mendez is an amazing guy, an american hero, it was an honor to play him. he's one of the most 50 important agents in history. as a guy when i met him, he really surprised me because i guess i assumed he would be, like, very watch cmauccho or so very opaque, wanted to fade into the background. i guess he still had that spy instinct. he took me to this bar, in that booth, aldridge passed all the names of his russian handlers. that's when i felt like whoa, this isn't, like, sliding down the roof and breaking necks and cia and hollywood. this is real people doing a real job. and i wanted, from that moment on, to pay real tribute to that. >> there's no mistaking when you watch this, it's a thriller, but
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there is some humor in there. the absurdity of the hollywood side of it. because as you say in the movie, you realize you couldn't just make business cards and sell this. you had to create all the apparatus surrounding a movie. i'm thinking specifically of the scene, the table read when you have all these made-up characters in this made-up movie doing a table read for the press. >> yeah. i mean, it was like -- i think it's very funny. allan arkin and john goodman ar funny. it's about them trying to sell it so when they go to iran, they say look, we're really making a movie. it had to get into the papers. one of the ways was to create a read-through. all these girls in a scantily clad stuff and a poor man's chewbacca. it's like the worst movie you've ever seen. >> only an american government would allow something like this that had a chance of working. >> i don't remember that period of time, but as i did research, i found that you had this country, a democratic incumbent, a sense of malaise, the economy in trouble. and it was 18% interest rates at the time. but still unemployment was quite
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high. we were involved in this intrabli intractable scenario in the middle east and a lot of americans were looking at what they believed was a permanent sense of decline. so those parallels were really interesting to me making it, not to mention the way that the revolution, you know, might tie into the arab spring or into the green revolution, you know. >> yeah. >> i think it was really interesting. i wish the movie wasn't so relevant. and i certainly wish it wasn't so relevant to the situation in benghazi and the ambassador was killed and others of our diplomats. but it seems to be something that we can't quite find our way past, you know. >> all these years later. and willie, of course, we know what ended the malaise of the carter years. >> 2004. red sox winning the world series? >> i was going to say two things. >> permanent state of decline. >> one, the hockey win. and two, game seven of the american league championship series in 2004.
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>> we're still hanging on to that, aren't we? >> that's all we've got right now. >> you're not going to mention the reagan tax cuts? >> i'd rather go to the bloody sock. >> the bloody sock. >> 2004, the damon grand slam. we take what we can get. >> never let it go. never let it go. >> they stole second base, barnicle. it's still the barnicle screen saver all these years later. history. >> what a great play. i'm right there with you. >> i'm the yankee fan here. >> i could tell there was something off about you. >> our thanks to ben affleck for coming by. coming up next, though, the author of the best-selling book "running with scissors," augusten burroughs joins us for his new self-help book. we put that in quotes. on how to overcome just about everything in life. this is a self-help book like none others you will read this year. and an absolutely fascinating and funny segment. we'll see you on the other side with augusten burroughs.
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acclaimed author augusten burroughs has sold millions of copies of his memoirs about his painful upbringing. he's perhaps best known for his memoir "running with scissors," which was adapted into a 2006 movie by the same name. this year, the at-times controversial writer tried his
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hand at a self-help guide. the title, "this is how: proven aid in overcoming shyness, molestation, fatness, grief disease, lushery, decrpeitude for young and old alike." >> inspiring. >> yeah. >> this is good stuff. >> this is disturbing. >> hey, mika, there's stuff in here that you will love. also, i've got to say, my wife and i have been big fans for a long time. and susan picked up this book and blew through it. and she said very frightening, she said, "i can relate to this guy." and she explained how just like you -- >> that's great, isn't it? >> she thinks that people think she's shoplifting. now, explain why your friends hate to go shopping with you. >> i'm the guy that when i leave the store, almost no matter what store, i'm stopped, and my bag is inspected. >> yeah. >> you know. and it's funny because i was a
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store detective when i was a kid just north of boston. so i know how to use those cameras. >> so you know exactly how to shoplift, then. >> no, i don't. it's a real skill. you've got to have, you know, places to put things. >> right. >> like harnesses. the real professionals, they've got, like -- it's a science. >> you say it's so -- the worst part of it is that you go in, you think that people are looking at you. and then you start acting really weird. and then they stop you. >> you're pair reside. don't be paranoid, but then they are, actually, because you've been stopped at the door and they want to see your receipt. >> do you think you're being profiled? >> no. >> because he's wearing that jacket. they're profiling people -- >> now i order online so i don't have to worry about it. you can shop in your underwear. it's great. i was born for the internet. also you also like when he talks about how to lose weight. i love the simplicity of it and
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you say if you don't want to be fat, stop eating and you say that you have credibility on this for a good reason. >> there is a difference between, and you have to know this difference. what you want and what you want to want. i know someone when i first met her 20 years ago, she made a joke about being on a diet, but she was always on a diet and i saw her 15 years later and made a joke about her diet. after 15 years, you are still on a diet, you have to ask yourself do you top the reach that goal weight or do you really just enjoy cheese a little more. that's fine, but know the difference. >> you talk about your bout with alcohol. you just made the decision. >> the things with alcohol is
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that we have got to find something you enjoy more. i don't agree with the concept of powerlessness over alcohol. ultimately my hand is the thing that's reaching for that beverage, but it's not that you have no control, it's that you want it so bad that you don't care. you don't care about your family and kids and that's a horrible thing to admit. in order to really fix yourself, you have to be absolutely honest with yourself. even if you don't like the answer. >> how much of this is from your own experience some. >> even though i have never had a weight problem and never been anorexic. i talk about what if your child dies. the reason i have the experience
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is there some things in life, everybody wants to heal. heal is a television word. some things you are not going to heal from. if your child dies, you are not going to heal from that. and that doesn't necessarily help people to know, but it does. it takes a bit of pressure off. there is a pressure to heal. after you have lost someone, six, eight, nine months later, you will hear the words you look great. you look like yourself again. now you have been cast in a play. i'm back to normal. >> this was a discussion we had about your mom a lot. >> there was this story, they arrested somebody and the family has closure. no, they don't. >> they have nothing. they don't have closure. nothing is closed.
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that boy will be their boy forever. when you use someone, you want to still talk about them. you shouldn't feel guilty or feel like i shouldn't talk about them because i'm healed. that's in the past. it's not the way things work. >> my dad as you guys know passed away a year ago and my mom and dad were married 55 years ago and didn't like anybody but each other. i said dad, we will fly you up. no, he wanted to be with my mom. they wanted to be in their house. for my dad that was the greatest thing on earth. people started coming up to my mom a week after my dad died and saying george would want you to move on. i would shoo them away. my mom is crying and i feel bad. i said don't move on. you can't move on.
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don't try to move on. >> right. >> it's impossible. >> another thing, this comes from my experience, there is a chapter on dreams, any time someone wins a grammy or oscar and they say this is for you in omaha, don't you ever give up your dream. don't tell them that. have you watched the covers they sing of your song? i was going to be like an actor when i was a kid. i felt like i had knowledge. i will take an acting course. i had a monologue and thank goodness they had beta. i washed myself and it was like oh. yeah. i don't need to be in this class anymore. >> you are the best actor in your shower. >> that's an absence.
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a dream is the thing that is blocking the way of a really good life. >> this is a good one for us. how to be a good mental health expert. >> i just mentioned this the other night at an audience. there was a psychiatrist in the front row. correct me if i'm wrong, but you need to treat your psychiatrist like a prostitute. you are there for a reason. you are not buddies. you don't need to know a lot about this person. they are there for a specific reason. one function. a therapist can be great and useful if you have a good one who is professional and not like the one that raised me when i was a kid. >> the money is on the table. you walk out of the office.
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i like my friendship with the ladies of the night. >> thank you so much for coming by. coming up next, former secretary of state colin powell and actresses julianne moore and julia louis dreyfus here on "morning joe." mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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